Scream Queens “Warts and All” Review (Season 2 Episode 2)

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We picked up more or less where we left off last week on “Scream Queens,” with the not-that-surprising reveal that Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) had managed to evade the clutches of the Green Meanie killer, but that he/she had stolen Hobart’s body and left only the head behind, somewhat implicating her in the process- at least in the cops’ eyes, who are as idiotic as ever this season.

In “Warts and All,” the patient-of-the-week was Tyler (Colton Haynes, “Arrow”), who had neurofibromatosis type 1, which is once again a real thing that can cause pimple-like tumors all over the body and face, as was the case here, making for an admittedly gruesome sight- and an unrecognizable Haynes, for that matter. As “Teen Wolf” fans know, this is not Haynes’ first go-round on weird afflictions.

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In this case, it was treatable, but the hospital simply didn’t have access to the expensive equipment needed to laser off said tumors, unfortunately. This left it up to a sympathetic Chanel #5 to try and raise money via a would-be viral video in the style of one of those awful ASPCA ads for abused animals, complete with a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack.

The other Chanels balked at this, saying that what he really needed was kindness, and that, if Chanel #5 really cared about him, she’d accept him how he was- as well as lay the groundwork for any future relationship once he was “hot” again. (These are the Chanels we’re talking about, after all.)

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This led to Chanel #5 taking Tyler out on a public date, where naturally they were harassed by some local goons who made fun of him. In turn, Chanel #5 brutally attacked them, knocking them out, as, lest we forget, she is off her meds. Fortunately for Tyler, Chanel was able to fund one of the machines they needed via her ex, Chad, for reasons we’ll get into in the quotes section.

Unfortunately for Tyler, the Green Meanie killer intervened before he could do so, duping him into thinking he was having the surgery early, only to use the laser against him, killing poor Tyler in the process. Chanel #5 did get wind of it, but by the time she and the other Chanels got to the hospital, it was too late and the killer had claimed another victim.

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Meanwhile, as aforementioned, we had the return of Chad (Glen Powell, arguably last season’s male MVP in the laughs department), who had a patient of his own to attend to in Randal (Kevin Bigley, “Sirens”). It seems the two had been on a quail hunt with Ted Danson and Ruth Bader Ginsburg- who Chad dubbed RBG- and Liz Cheney had surprised Randal out of nowhere and he ended up shooting her in the face! (Karma’s a bitch, I guess.)

Ever since then, Randal had been afflicted with uncontrollable screaming, seemingly frightened at the drop of a hat. Dr. Holt diagnoses him with Jumping Frenchmen of Maine‘s disorder, which causes a heightened startle reflex. Remarkably, this is also a real thing! Though there was treatment for this as well, by the end of the episode, poor Randal had yet to be cured. Might he be next on the killer’s list if he is?

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Finally, we discovered Munsch’s real reason for opening the hospital- she herself was seemingly afflicted by a disease that no doctor had yet been able to identify. Sharing her secret in confidence with Zayday and Chamberlain (James Earl)- albeit after the former accused her of only hiring her and the Chanels in order to kill them one by one- the two set about trying to figure out what it was, but it wasn’t until Zayday found out Munsch had visited New Guinea that she was able to.

Turns out that Munsch had attended what she thought was a party there, but was actually a funeral. During the course of eating with some tribesmen in attendance, she had unwittingly eaten the flesh of the deceased, as is the custom with some of the natives there. Called Kuru, it’s a disease for which there is no known cure, and which only affects…wait for it: cannibals! (And yes, once again- a real thing. Eep!)

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Unfortunately for her, Dr. Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), who had bugged Munsch’s office for reasons unknown, overheard this revelation, despite her insistence to Zayday and Chamberlain not to tell anyone. Hoffel also is trying to learn the hour-to-hour schedules for the Chanels, even going so far as to ask Zayday for them, which she refused. Yeah, none of that is suspicious.

At one point, the Green Meanie also went after Munsch herself, but she was able to fend him/her off- with a few wrapped-up pieces of paper, no less, Jason Bourne-style! Alas, before Munsch could rip off the killer’s mask, she was interrupted, so the killer remains unknown, I’m afraid. Not that I expected the killer to be revealed this soon, mind you, but still.

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Beyond that, there were some nifty references, notably to “The Hand,” which I very nearly mentioned myself last week, though I ultimately went with the real source of inspiration for the Dr. Holt hand-transplant storyline, “The Hands of Dr. Orlac.” As expected, it was revealed that Dr. Holt’s hand was indeed once that of a prolific serial killer, as exposed by a jealous Chad, which is pretty similar to the plotline of “Orlac.”

Still, nicely done- the serial killer’s squash racket with a retractable blade was a nice touch- as was the mention/brief scene from the much-beloved schlock cult classic “Pieces,” which has to be seen to be believed, but is not for the faint of heart. You might want to avoid the bad chop suey if you check that one out, wink-wink. 🙂

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There was also a potential “Halloween II” reference in the flashback, when we saw the aftermath of Dr. Steve and that nurses’ meddling and the first appearance of the Green Meanie Killer, who naturally was never caught- though it may not necessarily be the same one that terrorizing everyone in the present.

On Halloween of 1986- a year after Dr. Steve (Jerry O’Connell) killed that patient rather than help him- the killer struck for the first time, killing everyone in the hospital, including the nurse (Laura Bell Bundy) and Dr. Steve, who the killer dispatched by stabbing him in the back and raising him off the ground, much as Michael Myers does in “H2,” which also largely takes place in a hospital.

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The most obvious and overt homage, however, by far, was the extended one lampooning “The Silence of the Lambs,” in which Munsch, Denise (Niecy Nash), and the Chanels, minus #5, went to visit Hester (Lea Michele) in an institution, where she was locked up, Hannibal Lecter-style, complete with the transparent cell wall in front of her and hand-drawn pictures on the walls.

Hester seemed to know all about the current murders- and also claimed to know who the culprit was, as well as the connection they had to the past murders at the hospital. However, she would only help if they gave her what she wanted: a room with a view within Munsch’s hospital and some high-end beauty products. Denise balked, but I’m guessing we’ll get there, because how else will they keep Hester involved- or get her into a Lecter-type mask?

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That was about it for this episode, and if the hospital thing hasn’t completely grown on me just yet, then I did at least get a kick out of the references and the usual warped dialogue and song choices, as well as the nutty flourishes, like Chad and Dr. Holt’s shower pseudo-ballet and the prisoner throwing birthday cake at Chanel instead of…well, you know.

I am impressed by all the insane disorders and diseases they keep coming up with, though, and Tyler’s make-up was suitably icky. And whoever was in charge of all the in-the-know “Encyclopedia Brown” references- hats off to you. May you find your own private Idaville in Valhalla, you beautiful soul.

As ever, I’ll leave you with a list of the songs featured in the episode and my favorite quotes.

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Song List

“I Will Remember You”– Sarah McLachlan (the soundtrack to Chanel #5’s PSA vid)

“Mad About You”– Belinda Carlisle (during the ’86 Halloween party- bonus points for Dr. Steve refusing to do cocaine during it for unknown reasons- I guess because he didn’t want to miss it?)

“I Think We’re Alone Now”– Tiffany (also at the party, as people are being slaughtered)

“Holding Out for a Hero”– Bonnie Tyler (as, appropriately enough, Tyler is being killed)

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Favorite Quotes

Chanel #3, on why Chanel #5’s continued virginal status could be the reason she’s the killer: “I don’t even think she’s touched herself.”
Chanel: “Even her hand thinks she’s gross.”
Chanel #3: “The closest she’s come to sex is when a bookshelf fell on her once.”

Tyler, on his condition: “I look like I’m wrapped in infected bubble-wrap.”

Munsch, trying to quell a jealous quarrel over Chanel between Dr. Holt and Chad: “You can fight over Chanel’s breasts later- though it would sort of be like going to war over the Falklands. Lot of work for a relatively small and insignificant amount of land.” (Great reactions from Roberts to all of this.)

Chad, after literally confronting Dr. Holt in the shower: “Well, before this gets any more homoerotic…”
Dr. Holt: “I don’t think that’s possible.”
Chad, shortly thereafter: “I think our wieners touched accidentally.”

Diner Heckler, on Tyler and Chanel #5: “You like his personality? And here we were thinking you just liked guys who look like the inside of someone’s hemorrhoid-infested butt.”

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Munsch, giving voice to a complaint horror movie fans have had for ages: “From now on, when someone has just fought off the killer and they’re about to reach down and pull off the mask and reveal who it is…not the time to distract with a bunch of questions!”

Denise, on her new detecting skills: “This is what I learned at Quantico- and by watching movies about Quantico. Ooh, and from the hit TV show ‘Quantico’- now in it’s second thrilling season!” (ABC must have LOVED that free plug, lol.)

Denise, upon hearing Hester’s demands, which included a long, detailed list of beauty products: “Bitch- ain’t nobody got time for that. You better take this ChapStick and tell us everything we need to know.”

Chanel, talking to Chanel #5 and Tyler: “You saw someone that society decided was hideous and you chose to look past it and see the human being underneath. That is something worth celebrating!”
Chanel #5: “Well…thanks, I guess.”
Chanel #3: “Not you- him.” (Poor Chanel #5 may well be the most put-upon character ever on TV, lol.)

Chanel, on how she got Chad to fund the equipment needed for Tyler’s operation: “I told him that it was for an experimental weapons-grade pube laser that was developed by the Chinese military to give me a permanent stubble-free box. He started writing the check before I even finished that phrase.” (Love that “box” as a euphemism for vag is now acceptable to say on network TV- and repeatedly at that.)

Chad, to Dr. Holt, on his transplanted hand: “Does it bother you that when you spank it, you’re being totally gay? You’re celebrating Palm Sunday with another bro’s hand, so… does it bother you that the hand that burps your worm is the hand of a serial killer?” (Kudos for “Palm Sunday” and “burps your worm” also getting past the censors. This stuff honestly must sail right over their heads, right?)

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Well, that about does it for this week. Join me next week for more insanity, and be sure to comment down below with any crazy theories and the like!